Lisa R. (lisareinke) - Reviews

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The Aliens Among Us
The Aliens Among Us
Author: James White
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 1/12/2007


This book has seven short stories in it. "Countercharm" is a Sector General story about Senior Physician Conway's first encounter with an Educator tape. Sector General is an interspecies galactic hospital. The doctors need to know how to diagnose and operate on all the intelligent life forms in the Galactic Federation. To do this, they transfer the collected knowledge and life experience of a doctor of the species into their own brains. Think cyberpunk meets M*A*S*H. This is a nice story that fills in part of Conway's story, but be warned, it is only 21 pages long.

"To Kill or Cure" is the story of the confusion caused when an alien spacecraft crashes on Earth with injured survivors.

"Red Alert" is the twisted story of an unusual invasion of Earth.

"Tableau" returns to the Galactic Federation as a setting. It is the story of the two war heroes who were instrumental in the creation of Sector General. It is the story leading to their being put into a stasis field and displayed as a War Memorial. The story is complete in itself, since White often wrote for pulp magazines.

"The Conspirators" is a fun story of the lab animals on an Earth spaceship becoming sentient and telepathic. It reminded me of "The Rats of N.I.M.H." with mice, bonus guinea pigs, a pet bird and a pet cat.

"The Scavengers" is another invasion story. This time humans are doing the invading.

The final story is "Occupation: Warrior". For those that follow Sector General stories, this is the story of how General Dermod, a recurring minor character in the series, becomes a Guardsman. But that isn't relevant to this stand alone story at all.

I can always count on James White to entertain my brain!


American Gods
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 966
Review Date: 7/16/2007
Helpful Score: 7


I know this is blasphemy, but I don't really care for Gaiman's books. I want to love them like I loved his Sandman comics, but I am really rather blase about the novels and short stories. This one seems to be a favorite of everyone who reads it. I thought it was okay. Go figure. Winner of a Nebula award for best novel in 2002.


Anne  Of Avonlea
Anne Of Avonlea
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 2/20/2008


Anne Shirley is a fascinating character. I love indulging in stories with fascinating characters. Don't you?


Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables)
Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables)
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 4/11/2008


I didn't enjoy Anne of the Island as much as the earlier books in the series, but it was a nice book. Anne begins to date and start thinking about prospects for marriage.


Araminta Station (Cadwal Chronicles, Book No. 1)
Araminta Station (Cadwal Chronicles, Book No. 1)
Author: Jack Vance
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 5/17/2007


I recommend this book for the witty turns of phrase and unusual accounts of strange, future human societies.

The story is interesting, but overall not very strong. Still, it kept me reading, and I have since read the second book of the series, "Ecce and Old Earth", and have added the third "Throy" to my wishlist.


The Art of Mending (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
The Art of Mending (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Author: Joyce Bean (Narrator), Elizabeth Berg
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 7/18/2007


Read by Joyce Bean. 5 audio cassettes. Approx. 6 hours. Unabridged.


As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying
Author: William Faulkner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 5/30/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Required reading for me in high school. However, I was shocked that I found the book extremely entertaining and funny. Black humor at its best and wacky but real characters. The stream of consciousness writing style is brilliant, Faulkner, ya know, but difficult to get into. Much like trying to read Shakespeare or listen to opera. Well worth it, if you can do it.


Astonish Yourself!: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life
Review Date: 5/30/2007
Helpful Score: 3


Wicked cool. Even if you don't do the experiments, you will enjoy reading about them and learn something too.


Bad Monkeys
Bad Monkeys
Author: Matt Ruff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 7/27/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this book. It's the book I wished The Illuminati had been. The storytelling is clever, funny and riveting and the story is filled with secret societies, gadgets, and a world that will keep you reading. The character study of Jane Charlotte will stay with you long after the book is finished. Good stuff!


The Breaking of Northwall (The Pelbar Cycle, Book 1)
The Breaking of Northwall (The Pelbar Cycle, Book 1)
Author: Paul O. Williams
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 6/21/2007
Helpful Score: 2


A nice find! I do not recall ever seeing or hearing of this book before reading a review of it here. I picked it up based on the review here and others at Amazon. It is always nice to find a new series to read, long after many of the books have been written. As far as I can tell, there are at least seven books in The Pelbar Cycle.

For those who are avid science fiction readers, The Breaking of Northwall is set in a post apocalyptic United States. It is not a "deal with the radioactive fallout and mutations" book, but rather a book about cultural evolution and the clash of peoples who are just now plentiful enough to have to start interacting with each other, whose lives and histories have little to do with the "Time of Fire".

Paul O. Williams, the author, tells the tale exceptionally. His introduction to the hero of the novel, Jestak, is one of the best I've ever read.

This is good science fiction and worth your attention.


The Call of the Wild (Aladdin Classics)
The Call of the Wild (Aladdin Classics)
Author: Jack London
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 2/12/2009
Helpful Score: 4


Missed this book growing up. I recently added an iPod Touch application that had this book in the library, so I got the chance to see what I'd missed. My first big surprise was that the story is told from the perspective of Buck, the dog. I mean, I knew it was about the Yukon gold rush and sled dogs, but I had no idea that Buck was a dog. Nice surprise, really.

High school literary analysis works great for this book. No wonder it is in so many curriculums. I did feel rather bludgeoned by descriptive words meant to set the tone and drive home the point that civility is a light veneer over our primitive nature. Like these words from a passage: hatchet, club, red-eyed devil, bristling, foaming, mad, bloodshot, fury, passion, jaws, shock. Right. What's your point, Mr. London? It's a little fuzzy to me. Like Buck. Hehe.

Next up, Robinson Crusoe, which I'm discovering bludgeons me with literary foreshadowing.


Childhood's End
Childhood's End
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Book Type: Hardcover
  ?
Review Date: 5/30/2007


Sadly, my hand keeps skipping over this science fiction classic. I know it is supposed to be great, I just never want to read it.


Christmas with Country Living, Volume IV
Christmas with Country Living, Volume IV
Author: Hearst Communications
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/18/2007


Lots of nice ideas for decorating and serving during the holidays. The photos are beautiful. This book is produced by the magazine, Country Living.


A Civil Campaign (Miles Vorkosigan)
A Civil Campaign (Miles Vorkosigan)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 97
Review Date: 1/17/2008
Helpful Score: 4


Bujold's characters continue to entertain! As Emperor Gregor's wedding draws near, love is in the air. Miles, Mark, Ivan and the Koudelka girls are trying to pick partners and, of course, craziness ensues. If you have been following the Vorkosigan Adventures, you won't want to miss this one. If you haven't, they are wonderful books, but you should start with an earlier book like "Cordelia's Honor".


Code Blue: Emergency! (Sector General, Bk 9)
Code Blue: Emergency! (Sector General, Bk 9)
Author: James White
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 3/15/2009


Sector General novels are almost always nice enjoyable reads. White created a kind universe in these books, with medical mysteries and alien perspectives to pull you into the plot. This one introduces Nurse Trainee Cha Thrat who is a Warrior/Surgeon on her home planet. Her ethics get her into all kinds of interesting trouble in this novel as she tries on various roles in the Sector General hospital and is tossed out time and time again after managing to do some good in a highly disagreeable manner for the ethical staff of Sector General. "Code Blue: Emergency!" is collected with "The Genocidal Healer" into the Sector General omnibus called "General Practice". Like episodes of House M.D., you will enjoy these books immensely then forget most of the finer details of the medical mysteries as time goes by, so they are good for a reread.


Color out of Time
Color out of Time
Author: Michael Shea
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/18/2007


A novel based on H.P. Lovecraft's classic The Color Out of Space. I enjoyed it.


The complete Sherlock Holmes
The complete Sherlock Holmes
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.9/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 5/30/2007


We love all things Sherlock Holmes in this household. The stories are always enjoyable and re-readable. During Spring cleaning we realized we had five complete collections of Sherlock Holmes, so we are sharing the wealth with other fans of the detective.


Cordelia's Honor (Cordelia Naismith, Bks 1 and 2)
Cordelia's Honor (Cordelia Naismith, Bks 1 and 2)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 5/31/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I highly recommend reading all of the books in the Miles Vorkosigan series. Miles is a memorable character and you probably can't get enough of him. His parents are no slouches either. This is their story.


Cortez on Jupiter (Ben Bova's Discoveries)
Cortez on Jupiter (Ben Bova's Discoveries)
Author: Ernest Hogan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/25/2008


I'm catching up on some highly recommended science fiction that I missed. This one was on an "overlooked classics" list.

I enjoyed the book more as an artist than I did as a science fiction fan. It was novel to have an artist as the central character of the book - and not just a token artist, but one who actually is all about the creative process.

Pablo Cortez, our hero, is modeled too much after Pablo Picasso, which I found to be a bit of a cop out on the author's part to create a revolutionary freefall artist. There's a lot of art based ethics discussed in the book. I imagine many readers would be dismayed about the volume of narrative given to painting. As an artist, I rarely get to discuss my burning issues with anyone but another artist. I enjoyed hearing all about splatterpainting in freefall and enjoyed the rare treatment of having an artist be exactly the type of person suited to survive first contact with a totally alien sentience. Totally irreverent.

Definitely worth a read. But is it a classic? No, not in my book. But it is one-of-a-kind.


Cthulhu 2000
Cthulhu 2000
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 5/30/2007


A good collection of stories based on H.P. Lovecraft's mythos for the fan. If you haven't read any Lovecraft, but enjoy classic horror stories, pick up another collection - one actually written by Lovecraft. He was very influential for the genre and his outlook on New England's hidden side is brilliant.


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